Buzz Bin Post 12.10.152

For most, December is a time to flip through loving family photos while drinking some eggnog and listening to holiday tunes before they begin planning out their Chrisma-Kwanz-akkah celebrations.

Lucky for us marketing professionals, we spend our time in the office furiously compiling year-end recap decks, while we review our social analytics and craft our lessons learned, all the while imagining what life would be like with a margarita on a beach.

So as we offer our counsel to clients on where their industry is going and the ripe opportunities for their taking, I found it appropriate to summarize what I thought were three of the best campaigns of 2015 in the beauty and fashion industries.

What I didn’t expect to find was a common thread among all three. The natural beauty theme wove through each campaign and showcased how our perception of beauty from a consumer and marketing perspective is evolving from idealism to realism.

Take a look:

1. Best Feel Good Campaign – Dove’s #LoveYourCurls. In January 2015, Dove launched the latest extension to their eponymous Real Beauty campaign, encouraging women and girls to embrace their curly hair. With over 10 million views to date, their campaign video was a clear hit, but they took it to the next level when last month, they launched a curly haired emoji, after discovering that 80% of curly-haired women feel underrepresented by today’s selection of emojis. This brand continues to outpace the personal care industry in honing in on a clear insight, especially a consumer vulnerability, and creating a platform for empowering women to feel good about themselves.

2. Best Movie Partnership – Schick/Skintimate and Pitch Perfect 2. I usually find movie partnerships forced, but this Schick/Skintimate campaign just made me giggle… and want to sing while shaving my legs (TMI?). In the spring, these Energizer (now Edgewell) brands launched a campaign to celebrate the monotonous beauty activities women endure every day. The accompanying video and Brittany Snow partnership reinforced women’s appreciation for taking care of their bodies; and did it perfectly by tying into one of the hottest movies of the year.

3. Best Perception-Changing Campaign – Lane Bryant’s #ImNoAngel. The hashtag #ImNoAngel flooded twitter this April, when Lane Bryant came out swinging against the unrealistic and impossibly skinny models of Victoria’s Secret. In just one ad and hashtag, the company changed the conversation on body diversity from frustration to appreciation. Their ad was appropriate, humorous and combated Victoria’s Secret in a respectful way. Headline stories flooded USA Today, CNN, AdWeek, Huffington Post, ABC News, Mashable and more. Now that’s a way to change perception.

Each of these marketing campaigns originated from a universal truth – women have insecurities and it’s partly our responsibility to help them feel just a little bit more comfortable about them. With that comes an opportunity for marketers to speak to them but in a relatable, pragmatic way. Once you pass aspirational and reach unattainable, you risk losing them.